Southeast Community CollegeLincoln, Nebraska ~ (402) 437-2627SCC Writing CenterMLA Citation Style
MLA Citation & Avoiding PlagiarismWhy use MLA Citation Style?Shows readers where your information comes from and that you found relevant sources.
Helps guide readers through the argument.
Helps readers understand and read research papers through a consistent style.
Helps readers find more information by providing full publication information.
Shows readers that your sourcesand youare credible.
Why is Credibility Important?As a writer, it is important that readers trust that you are giving them good, solid information.
MLA style helps readers to see the kinds of research used and allows readers to make up their own minds about the quality of the paper.
Readers associate the credibility of the research with the credibility of the writer.
Im not a doctor, but I play one on TV. Would you like me to operate? With no citation, readers have no way of knowing where the information came from, if it is current, and if the data is backed up by credible experts.With MLA (or another professional style), readers know exactly who said what, where it was printed, and when it was printed.???Also, using MLA protects you against plagiarism by showing which ideas are yours and which ones belong to someone else.
Understanding CredibilityTRUSTWhat is Plagiarism? Using another persons ideas, information, orexpressions without acknowledging that persons workconstitutes intellectual theft. Passing off anotherpersons ideas, information, or expression as your own toget a better grade or gain some other advantageconstitutes fraud.MLA (2.1)
Sometimes plagiarism is an accident or results from being unaware of the rules. However, even if accidental, the consequences can be serioussuch as failing an assignment or a course. The best rule: if you had to look it up, cite the information!How Do I Avoid Plagiarism?Allow plenty of time to research, write, edit and proofread your paper.
Add the parenthetical citations into the essay as you draft the essay.
Take the time to learn (not memorize) MLA.
Ask your instructor questions.
Schedule appointments with the MAC Writing Center: (420) 437-2627.
Use SCCs subscription to www.turnitin.com.
Take careful notes.Taking Notes to Make MLA Style EasyAs you research, write down the full publication information for all of your sources. This will save time at the end of your project!
Document the following:AuthorTitle of book, magazine, journal.Title of magazine/newspaper article.Publisher and year published if a book, exact date for magazines and newspapers.Page numbers.Web address.Date you found the information on the Web.Quotations or information you want to paraphrase.Generally familiarize yourself with MLA so that when you encounter a source, you will know what information is important to write down!
QuotationsUsing someone elses words exactly.
Put the sources words in quotation marks and use the exact same words as the source.
Do not misrepresent the quotations meaning by taking it out of context.
Put a citation after EVERY quotation.
Four score and seven years agoParaphrasingUsing your words to express someone elses idea.
Do not use more than three words in a row that the source used.
No quotation marks.
Put a citation at the end of summarized material, even if it is more than one sentence.
Source writes: Of all study participants, 78% of those who were new pet owners experienced a drop in average blood pressure over one year.You write: Just over three-fourths of the study participants had lower blood pressure one year after first owning a pet.Formatting the MLA Essay1 inch margins on all sides.Double space entire essay.Last name and page number in upper right corner of every page.A heading in the upper left corner of the first page with:Your nameYour teachers nameYour classDue dateSusie JonesDr. Roger SmithIntro to Biology22 May 2006The Tree Frog: Predator or Prey? The tree frog is a unique species of the Amazon rain forest. Continue essay here.
Jones 1In-text citations follow quotations and paragraphing.An in-text citation includes two parts:Authors name/Title of article (whatever comes first in your Works Cited citation).Page Number.
Use sources ideas to support your ideas; do not write a whole paragraph that is source ideas only.Note that the period for the end of the sentence goes after the in-text citation, not at the end of the quotation.
For example, the American Dental Association argues that healthy gums are reflective of the health of the rest of the body (Smith 67).Making In-text (Parenthetical) Citations EasyMaking In-text (Parenthetical) Citations EasyExceptions:If you say the authors name in the sentence introducing the quotation, do not repeat it in the in-text citation.
If an in-text citation is from the same source as the last in-text citation, you do not need to repeat the authors name. You must still give page numbers.
If you are using a source without pre-published page numbers, like an online source or an interview, do not include the page number (no paragraph numbers, either!).
According to Robert Southey, by writing much, one learns to write well (45).Making the MLA Works Cited Page EasyTitle the page Works Cited.
Double space everything.
Alphabetize the list of citations by the first letter of each entryusually by authors last name.
After the first line, the second (+ third, fourth, etc.) lines are indented one TAB or one half inch. For example:
Smith, Kay. Building a Better Tomorrow. New York: Knopf, 1987.
Works CitedSmith, Kay. Building a Better Tomorrow. New York: Knopf, 1987.Winkler, Anthony C. & Jo Ray McCuen. Writing Talk. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997.
Tips for MLA Works Cited CitationsBooksAuthor last name, Author first name.Name of book, underlined or italics.Name of city where the book was published, followed by a colon (:)Name of publisher, followed by a comma (,)Year.
Author last name, Author first name. Title. Publishers City: Publisher, Year. Kidd, Sue Monk. The Secret Life of Bees. New York: Penguin, 2002.Winkler, Anthony C. and Jo Ray McCuen. Writing Talk. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997.Multiple Authors:Articles, Essays, or Book Chapters(in book with an editor)Author last name, Author first name. Title of Article. Title of Book. Edition number. Editor name(s). Publishers City: Publisher, Year. Page Numbers.Allison, Dorothy. Gun Crazy. The Norton Reader. 10th ed. Ed. Linda Peterson, John C. Brereton, and Joan E. Hartman. New York: Norton, 2001. 275-78.Author last name, author first name.
Title of article in quotation marks.
Title of book, underlined or in italics.
Edition of book (if applicable).
Name of city where the book was published, followed by a colon (:)
Name of publisher, followed by a comma (,)
Pages of article.
Periodicals(magazine, journal, newspaper)Author last name, author first name.Title of article, in quotation marks.Title of periodical, underlined or in italics.Volume and issue numbers, separated by a period (if available), Year in parentheses, followed by a colon (:)Pages of article.Author last name, Author first name. Title of Article. Title of Periodical. Volume.Issue (Year): Pages.Ficaro, Barbar. Canterburys First Dean. Sixteenth Century Journal 18.3 (1987): 343-346.Periodicals(magazine, journal, newspaper)If no volume/issue numbers, just give date. Followed by a colon (:).
Author last name, Author first name. Title of Article. Title of Periodical Date: Pages.
Donnelly, Sally B. Education: Teachers Are Lagging Behind in Logging In.Time 27 Sept. 1999: 26.PERIODCALS Accessed Online
Professional website:No page numbers unless PDF of article offered.At end of citation, add accessed date and URL in angle brackets ().Koblitz, Neal. The Case Against Computers in K-13 Math Education. The Math Intelligencer 1996. 19 Feb. 2001 .Library DatabasesAt end of citation, add: Database service name Database providerCollege nameCollege locationDate accessed.
Donnelly, Sally B. Education: Teachers are Lagging Behind in Logging In. Time 27 Sept. 1999: 26. eLibrary. ProQuest-CSA. Southeast Community College Library, Lincoln NE. 21 May 2008 .InterviewInterviewee last name, interviewee first name.Type of interview (e-mail, phone, or personal).Date of interview.Interviewee Last Name, Interviewee First Name. Type of Interview. Date. Rodgers, Fred. E-mail Interview. 4 May 2006.FilmFilm title underlined or in italics.Directors name.Performers names (top 3-5 actors).Distributor.Year.Film Title. Dir. Name. Perf. Names. Distributor, Year. Smoke Signals. Dir. Chris Eyre. Perf. Adam Beach & Evan Adams. Miramax, 1998.WEBSITES (professional)Web Page (the individual article of section) title.Web Site (the whole web-presence) title.Date published or updated.Sponsoring institution.Date accessed [note: no period].
Web Page Title. Web Site Title. Date. Sponsoring Institution. Date Accessed .Tutoring. SCC Online. 2007. Southeast Community College Nebraska. 11 Aug 08 .How Do I Tell If a Website is Credible?Check domain name: .org .edu .govThese sites are usually credible. Dot com (.com) sites are primarily businesses. The goal of .com sites is to make money, not necessarily provide accurate info.
Who publishes the site? Are they credible? (News websites like cnn.com or msn.com are usually credible because of their parent companies; a blog may not be credible).
How Do I Tell If a Website is Credible?Are other sources cited? Do those sources look credible?
Are there simple errors like typos or broken links on the site? If so, the site is less credible.
Is it a professional or personal website? Be careful of personal websites.
Is the site a wiki? This means that any one can create and edit pages. Wikipedia, for example, is the most well-known wiki site, and it is not considered a scholarly source by many professors.
When was the site last updated? Is the information recent? Recent information is more likely to be accurate.Where Can I Get MLA help?This slideshow is online at: URL forthcoming.The SCC MLA Handbook PDF is online at: www.southeast.edu
Current Students Student Links SCC Online MLA and APA handouts
Several websites and programs do MLA formatting for you, but double check their answers against SCCs MLA handbook.
Where Can I Get MLA help?Visit the Writing Center
Lower level of LRC
at the Lincoln 88th and O St. Campus. (402) 437-2627
Appointments and drop-ins welcome!